An onset of ulcerative colitis is almost mysterious. Many factors seem to play in and a big role is played by stress. So we’ve come up with a way to reduce stress, and it’s the easiest thing to do in the world.
Slowly our lives saturate with stress. Before we know it, we are shuttered from the world trying to cope with heavy burdens set upon our minds by ourselves. What a quandary we are in!
Stress is not the Enemy
When we are fenced in, the fence begins to feel menacing. So, when we find that our lives are stressful, the stress seems oppressive. Then, we begin to stress out because we are stressed out. It is like a snake eating itself.
Stress is a reaction within our body to bring us awareness of something that is an issue. It can be something that is a minor irritation or something life threatening. The way our body communicates to us sometimes is with stress. So we cannot wish stress away, it is a natural occurrence. Imagine if we did not have magical auto responses in our bodies. We would not flinch from an open flame, we would not flush out bacteria (or excess alcohol). So much that we do is built to keep us in tip top shape.
Then stress, too, is a natural reaction of our body to something the mind is troubled by. Rather than be opposed to the feeling of stress, learn to be aware of how stress feels. Recognize it, and appreciate its role in keeping you in one loving piece.
Oh, and if one is not sure of what stress feels like, how can stress be recognized? Take a vacation! Move your life into what you would consider an ideal relaxing situation for as long as you can manage. Be sure to maintain an awareness of how you feel now versus on the vacation. A lot of the difference might be stress. For those of us who must be by a bathroom due to a flare up of colitis, the vacation can be in your own house as long as your regular routine is disrupted almost completely by something you envision to be more relaxing.
Keep awareness on feelings inside your body, specially in your gut. Which muscles are clenched? Is your jaw tight? Are your eyes hot? Learn to know what your body feels like and then learn to know how it feels differently on vacation. The difference in feeling will teach you what stress feels like and how to recognize it.
Learn Why You Are Stressed
We feel stress because of many reasons and many of those reasons are tailor-fitted to you and your mind.
Some people are stressed over work and deadlines. Others stress about their impression in their society. There are even those who stress because of expectations they have of themselves or of expectations others have held of them.
Colitis patients may have flared up because of certain stress, but they may even find new stress once the flare up announces itself in their life. Now they may worry about hospital bills, mortality, care of loved ones.
So the mountain builds until we are crushed. But there is a way out.
The Truth Shall Set You Free
See, the secret this author has happened upon that helps with stress is the following: we only have this moment.
Take a moment, take a breath, feel your body. Hum in a low tone and feel how that sounds and how it feels as the sound generates behind your throat. Can you feel the tingle within each toe?
These are all precious gifts offered to us each and every moment simply because we are alive. The very moment you are in now is all that you can ultimately have. Realizing this, learn to release the burden of the future and the weight of the past.
Stress seems to come from expectations others or we have set of the future or of the past. When we remember deadlines, when we remember people we wish to please, when we consider our health, our mind suddenly panics and we lose our sense of balance to worry and stress about what is beyond our control. This is not because we are weak, mind you, but because to us these are real sources of worry. It is difficult to sit in the moment when we are in a hospital with the question of how many days we will be here still.
There is a pithy saying, “The past is history, the future is a mystery, the now is a gift, which is why it’s called the present.”
We have no pills to manage your stress (yet). Nor will a single memory of the power of the moment relieve you of a habit from years of worrying about the future or in the past. There is a mountain of stress upon you, which you will lift, one stone at a time. Each stone lifted is easy by itself, its a gentle reminder to yourself to love the experience of the now. To find the present moment again and again in the gentle feel of your breathing, the chill of the wind upon your face, the sound of you humming from within your heart.
Stone after stone, with steadfast determination and love for yourself, lift your mountain.
Learn, again, to walk here
in the forest with me
and be free
aum namah shivaye
(I thank that which is)